As most parents can attest, having a toddler is a lot like having a puppy with opposable thumbs. They beg for food, bark and, if not properly trained, will piddle on the floor. The thumbs just make them harder to pry off your leg.
And like a puppy, our toddler will also bring us things. But instead of dead animals, she brings us empty cups, boogers and, increasingly, the couch cushions. All of them, leaving a trail of stale Cheerios in her wake. She has yet to bring me the remote control and a beer; I must be doing something wrong.
Our toddler also doesn’t understand boundaries, which means my wife or I often find ourselves on the toilet with a 2-year-old standing inches away trying to hand us food.
So, I wasn’t surprised when the bathroom door banged open (left unlocked for sanity reasons. A toddler watching you do your business is uncomfortable, a toddler channeling Jack Nicholson from “The Shining” is soul-draining). She grinned, walked in, sat our muffin tin on my lap and danced away.
The sad part is that this wasn’t at all surprising. The Toddler loves muffins and I’m the only one who makes them. My wife’s idea of cooking is not to, which is fine because I’ve had her food; it’s light and airy. A few years ago, my son asked what I was making for dinner. I said, “Rocks and sticks.” He shrugged and said, “That’s better than what Mom cooks.”
A study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill showed an increasing number of dads do this. And by “this” I mean sit on the toilet holding a muffin tin.
No, wait. Wrong study.
The Chapel Hill study discovered the percentage of husbands who cook has risen from 29 percent in 1965 (that year’s slogan, “I’ve had a hard day at the office, bring me a martini”) to 42 percent in 2013 (that year’s slogan “Mommy’s at work”). So, I guess I’m trendy.
I have to admit, while sitting there holding the muffin tin I didn’t feel trendy.
But it’s nice to know I’m not alone. On average, today’s men spend 49 minutes a day cooking, which is more than the 37 minutes a day men cooked in 1965 when eating bar peanuts counted as cooking.
What does this mean? In a normal household, it would mean I’m doing my fair share of the family chores. In a house with a toddler it simply means I’m often on the toilet with a lap covered in bakeware.
The tricky part is standing up.
Then I have to decide if I’m baking muffins.
This leads us into the delicate psychology of men. We’re trained from an early age not to give up. Winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win. Help those weaker than us. And if you know you’re right, don’t give in to anyone, no matter how loud they get.
This is all before we have children and just want five minutes of peace.
Did I bake the Toddler muffins?
– Find out about everything Jason at jasonoffutt.com.